The leadership of the Traders Advocacy Group-Ghana (TAGG) has called on government to, as a matter of urgency put before Parliament a Legislative Instrument (L.I) that will regulate the renting of stores or shops at its highest levels to prevent property owners from extorting monies from traders.
According to the group, they have reviewed the Manifestos of the Major political parties in the country and discovered that the manifestos did not address trading issues in the country, especially issues regarding the renting of stores, shops, and Access to Credit in Ghana.
Addressing a Press Conference in Accra, the President of TAGG, Kwadwo Amoateng, indicated that the manifesto of the ruling party seeks to address the rental issues through their proposed National Rental Assistance Scheme (NRAS) for only government workers but failed to address that of the trading community.
“Today, a trader has to pay monies ranging from GHs 80,000 to GHs 250,000 every five years just to secure a shop/store popularly known as GOODWILL, which excludes monthly rent charges. Some of these landlords and landladies go to extent of charging in dollars.”
He averred that when an L.I is passed, it would help prevent the invasion of foreign nationals who have taken advantage of Ghanaian traders’ weak existing trade laws from retail trade by preventing them from securing stores/shops.
He said: “By NO reason should the government of Ghana allow any foreign country influence the sovereign laws of our motherland Ghana.”
On her part, the Deputy Secretary of TAGG, Juliet Kusi also mentioned that the manifestos from the two main political parties indicated promises to Ghanaians and forgetting that traders in the country constitute 50 plus one percent that enables them to win political power. The contributions of traders to Ghana’s GDP growth, she said, is enormous considering taxes and duties we pay at the port.
“This amazes us as to why these parties have refused to recognize the important role traders’ play in this country,” she noted and pointed out that they are at a loss as to why it has eluded the political parties not to touch on such important issues that affect trading in the country.
Commenting on foreigners in retail trade in Ghana, Juliet Kusi said the Group finds the suggested proposal made to government by the speaker of House of Representatives of Nigeria, during his recent visit to the country that the GIPC (Act 865) should be reviewed to enable foreign nationals engage in retail trade, which has been reserved for only Ghanaians as “displeasing and unethical.”
She said: “We find it so disheartening and disrespectful to have our leaders condoning such an act from a sister nation after entrusting so much faith in them allowing Nigeria to come and tell us what to do with our laws yet when it suited them, shuts its borders against ECOWAS protocols whiles having its nationals flouting our trade laws.”
According to the traders, they are pleading with our intellectual leaders to consider their woes and not to disappoint them but rather do more to help save the retail trade industry, which employ millions of Ghanaians.
By Prosper Agbenyega